Sunday, August 25, 2013

We have been having so much fun! But I also feel it necessary to share the not so great parts, as that is what life is! Its never perfect, and that just makes us long for heaven more. So Friday we did a practice run taking the commuter rail into the city and then switching to the T subway system for how I will get to class.  It went well, and its a little over an hour commute.  I felt a little overwhelmed at that task daily, especially when our 5:15 train got delayed until 5:45.  We had plans with some new friends that afternoon, but they ended up canceling on us, and we just did a lot of walking around and trying on jackets at outdoor stores to see what to order in the current online sales.  I had some really lonely and down feelings, but its expected and a natural part of transition.  We miss MARGARET and JAKE who  would be down to do something fun with us :)
But we are incredibly thankful for all the new people who have been so gracious and kind and hospitable to us. Its given us a great reminder of Christian community, and we are so thankful!
Bell Hall cookout

I have finally convinced Chad to do some fun things, and we had the best day! (Great ideas, as well as bikes, from Amanda and Scott Bowen :)- we think of y'all constantly and wish we could have been here at the same time :) 
Thursday Night we went to Crane Estate (a castle, downtown abbey anyone?) for a picnic and concert on the lawn with a couple from MS (so nice to have southerners :) )

 the alleyway ended in ocean view

And Friday we went to Russell Orchards where they have pick your own fruit, apple cider donuts, farm animals and tons more! We did a wine tasting of blueberry, apple, peach etc wines that were so yummy!

Russell Orchards
We then rode our bikes down to Crane's beach

 Which was super crowded-clearly!-since it was saturday, but i was so thankful to finally go to the beach!

Today, we tried out a second church, First Pres Ipswich, with a couple who lives under us and went to lunch with them. Which was wonderful! Sundays have been the hardest days for me, I am really missing First Pres in Opelika -- church hopping and searching is not super fun. I am ready to have a church home and real community and friends, but I know it just takes time! Still incredibly grateful and trying to soak up and explore in these last days before I start orientation Friday and Chad next week after Labor Day. We miss you all-come visit!! Its incredible :)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

South Hamilton is BEAUTIFUL!!! the area is so green and has horse farms, orchards and beaches everywhere. We have been busy setting up our apartment and working on all kinds of transition things that happen in moving across the country.  We've been trying to enjoy where we are in the midst of the busyness! The best part so far has been how welcoming everyone has been. We are living on campus at Chad's seminary (Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary).
(Home sweet Bell Hall :)
Its so fun! Its like being in college again-dorm life! (except a good number of people have kids). Guys helped us move in, couples have brought us homemade brownies and cookies and handpicked flowers. People have already had us over for dinner and invited us to beach and pond outings and cookouts. It has been impossible to be sad or lonely with all the sweet new people! We are so so grateful!
We still have until after labor day until we start class, so we want to try and squeeze in some trips to the beach, bike riding in appleton farms, a concert at crane estate, and a practice train run into Boston!..I just have to convince Chad to take a break ;)
Driving away from the loveliest village on the plains to head 21 hours north, tears began to stream down my face. Our hearts were so heavy to leave behind such a place of community and love. We got married here, rented our first house here, joined our first church together here and worked alongside an incredible ministry team with Auburn Cru. We had so many deep and rich relationships that it really hurt to leave. However, as I drove away, I already began to see a glimpse of the work The Lord has in store for us. I suddenly became so aware of how distant I can make The Lord when life is easy and comfortable and enjoyable. I immediately felt the knees of my heart bow as my eyes were opened to this. Truly being able to acknowledge Christ as ruler and leader of our lives felt so real and rich in that moment and I am so thankful for that. Because many times we don't feel it (because the God we serve is bigger than that). But what a gift and answer to prayer to be able to experience Christ anew and see His goodness and faithfulness enough to pursue us and not leave us where we are! So while I am deeply grateful for the blessings we had in Auburn, I am looking forward to the work He is doing in our hearts, drawing us constantly nearer to Him and desiring to make us more like Him.  We know this is going to be really hard, but really good.